Beazley said it had "confirmed its interest in entering into exploratory discussions with Hardy regarding a possible offer to acquire the entire issued share capital of Hardy".
It said the talks were at an early stage. It said: "This announcement does not represent a firm intention to make an offer and there can be no certainty that an offer by Beazley will be made."
The announcement came after credit rating agency AM Best confirmed all the financial strength rating and issuer credit ratings fro Beazley.
A.M. Best confirmed:
• A (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of "a" of Beazley Insurance Company.
• A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of "a+" of Lloyd's Syndicate 2623, Lloyd's Syndicate 623, Lloyd's Syndicate 3623 and Lloyd's Syndicate 3622 (United Kingdom).
• The ICR of "bbb+" of Beazley plc (Jersey), the ultimate holding company of the Beazley group of companies, and of Beazley Group Limited (United Kingdom), an intermediate holding company.
• The debt ratings of "bbb" on the £150m junior subordinated notes due 2026 and the $18m junior subordinated notes due 2034 issued by Beazley Group Limited.
A.M. Best said the outlook on all Beazley's ratings is stable.